I’d like to tell you a story.
A true story.
What I’m about to tell you happened to me around 3 months ago. It is single handidly the most ludicrous, frustrating and embarrassing moment of my life.
(I realize that I have really built this up now so please stay with me and read on).
It was a Friday morning. I was working from home. The house we were renting was up for grabs because we were relocating for work.
I was relaxed. No makeup, hair like Gary Rhodes, dressing gown on. Bliss.
Now, to put a small slice of background on your plate, we had experienced terrible communication issues with the estate agents advertising the house on numerous occasions. They had asked to conduct viewings and never turned up, they had promised to call us back but never did, they had closed their office early without telling us that our 5pm appointment would be cancelled, that sort of infuriating thing.
As I am a reasonable human being I emailed said estate agents and said ‘I’ll be at home on Friday morning if you want to do some viewings?’
Called them, no answer.
You can imagine what happens next. But believe me, your imagination cannot stretch to the ripple of events that followed after.
I popped out to the kitchen to sort out the washing at around 11am. The advert break for This Morning seemed a suitable time to get up, stretch my legs and take a break. So there I am folding my wet clothes, minding my own business, debating what to have for lunch.
Now, I’m not good at answering the door at the best of times. We frequently had charity knockers (fundraisers not tits), local MP representatives and some church folk turning up unannounced to discuss politics/planning permission/our much needed donations. An unexpected knock was almost expected, but still not handled well on my part.
I froze. They’ll go soon enough. They always do. But they knocked again, rang the doorbell again and did.not.move.
Roughly five stressful minutes passed and considering I was supposed to be working from home I was getting aware that I’d been away from my desk (sofa) for about ten minutes in total.
This is where I need to explain my attire in more detail. Yes, I had no makeup on. Yes, I hadn’t done my hair. Yes, I should have showered earlier. All of this wouldn’t be an issue.
I’m not a particularly vain person. It’s not ideal but it wouldn’t stop me answering the door.
My dressing gown is a cropped one.
It’s quite short.
It’s a jacket.
A fleeced jacket.
… No I was not wearing trousers.
Pants? Yes of course I’m not an animal but I am a bit of a flasher. The blinds were open in the lounge, you can see through the front door into the lounge and the kitchen door also has glass panels.
I couldn’t run upstairs and throw some jeans on. The layout of my house had me trapped. I could feel myself looking around my cell, pondering my new life.
I could pee in the sink if it came to it.
At least there’s food.
I could organize the carrier bags into alphabetical order!
*ding dong* *ding dong* *ding dong* *ding dong*
They were getting frantic. About fifteen minutes had passed now.
So, I forced my legs into some wet jeans. Some really wet, freshly washed jeans.
I thought of the alibi I would give these incessant knockers as I tussled and wrestled with myself (DAMN YOU SKINNY FIT DENIM!!)
“I had the radio on in the kitchen so didn’t hear the door almost being kicked down!! Ha ha ha..”
Yes. Laugh it off. Although, when they see the distance from the front door to the kitchen (about 5 meters) they will know it’s a lie.
Shall I pretend to be deaf?
It’s not morally right. Plus I’m not sure I can stay in character. Imagine if my neighbour came to the door, or my boss phoned me.
I can’t just suddenly drop the act.
No. Definitely not pretending to be deaf.
So I go to the door, and standing there are two very confused people. A mother and son (I assume).
“We’re here to view the property……oh, have we woken you up?”
So I let them in, explain I’m working from home, there’s no estate agent here so I can’t answer all their questions but I set them free to roam the house. I ask them who told them they could view at this time, as we hadn’t been told about it. I’m given the name of Stacey at the office.
I’m on hold waiting to get through to this ‘Stacey’ character. The Toploader classic ‘Dancing in the moonlight’ plays as I can feel my face getting redder and redder with fury and adrenaline.
Two more people turn up to view the property (thank god I didn’t pretend to be deaf!)
I’m having an open house where I look like a deranged layabout with piss soaked trousers.
I welcome them in and send them upstairs.
“Is there a loft ladder?” one of my guests shouts down.
“Can you show us the allocated parking?”
Why the hell isn’t there an estate agent here!!!!!??
The song ends and starts again (why do they loop hold music, it really riles you up!) and before it can get to the chorus, Stacey speaks.
So she is real. I explain that I have four STRANGERS POSSIBLY MURDERERS in my house and that I want an explanation as to why I didn’t know they were coming.
“I spoke to you yesterday and you said it was fine.”
What a rookie mistake. She’s lying about me….TO ME!
AT LEAST SAY YOU SPOKE TO MY BOYFRIEND NOT DIRECTLY TO ME!
“Erm, you didn’t speak to me Stacey. I was in London all day yesterday for work, I had no voicemails, no missed calls and I didn’t speak to anyone”
“Yes you did Sarah you spoke to me!” she sneers at me.
“What number did you call then?”
She reels off my boyfriend’s phone number, and again insists she spoke to me, Sarah and I said it was fine. She confirms that the 4 people here are the only ones expected today.
“Well you say that Stacey but you also said I spoke to you yesterday, and that didn’t happen so I don’t know what to believe now do I!”
I hang up before I can ask why there is no estate agent. I’m too angry and dumbfounded to function properly.
I am summoned upstairs as one of them has a question about the bathroom (like what, is it a powerful flush? Can it dispose of a large poo in one go?”)
I walk up the stairs, three of my visitors are stood at the top watching me.
I say walk, I wade up the stairs because wet jeans don’t have much give in them.
I’m bright red in the face from the chat with Stacey the liar. They all look a bit concerned for my health (mental and physical I imagine).
I answer their questions and they prepare to leave. They are all very apologetic and start backing out the front door one by one, like they’ve interrupted a fox raiding their kitchen, chicken bone in mouth ready to pounce if they make any sudden movements.
“Well if any of you want to put in an application, just call me at the office.”
I turn around.
The first guests, he wasn’t her son. HE WAS THE ESTATE AGENT.
He hadn’t said a word. When I asked him who said they could view and he said Stacey the Liar rather than ‘You did Sarah you silly cow you told us you were working at home.’
He didn’t say anything when I said ‘There’s no estate agent here to answer your questions.’
They all leave. I feel such relief, disbelief and anger I let out an almighty manic laugh, waddle up the stairs and get changed. It’s now been 45 minutes away from my desk.
The moral of this story, is always keep a pair of dry trousers and a laptop in your kitchen in case you get trapped in there and need to set up camp for the day.